With everything that’s going on in the world, it is becoming increasingly important to improve your fuel efficiency as much as possible. After all, the higher the fuel costs rise, the bigger your losses become. To this end, here are 6 ways to reduce engine idling time and increase fuel efficiency.
Turn your engine off when popping out of your truck
The first way to reduce engine idling and increase fuel efficiency is fundamental: just turn your engine off. Many people think it’s a waste of time to turn their vehicle off to pop out of it for five minutes and some drivers even believe old tales that it consumes more fuel to start up a car than it does to leave one idling. This is not true. An idling engine will always consume more fuel, which means you are directly working against yourself if you fall into the pattern of thinking, ‘oh, I’ll be real quick!’ With how rising fuel costs affect the trucking industry, it is essential to do your best to reduce fuel waste!
Keep your AC off when possible
Now, even if you are looking for ways to reduce engine idling time and increase fuel efficiency, you shouldn’t stop using your AC entirely. AC is an essential tool when working as a trucker. Spending days on end behind the wheel will quickly show you exactly how tough you are when you become desperate for warmth or a dash of cold. However, this is not just a matter of comfort since your health can seriously suffer if your body overheats. And that is to say nothing about colds and various other bad effects of allowing yourself to spend lots of time with minimal movement inside a cold environment. Having said all that, you shouldn’t keep your AC on at all times. A too high temperature difference between inside your truck and the outside weather is bad for you, too. Unless the weather is extreme, just bear with it.
Pay attention to tire maintenance
Maintenance is crucial for a truck driver. It is even one of the ways how truckers can improve their CSA score. With how seriously it impacts the quality of your driving and your truck’s longevity, it should be no surprise that it has become more relevant here. Except for this time, special importance is paid to your tires. Your tires need to be fully pumped up constantly. Tires that are not appropriately inflated generate a lot more resistance and friction. This makes a truck consume more fuel to maintain optimal speed. The bigger the difference between optimal tire inflation and the state of your tires, the worse your fuel efficiency becomes to the point that even minuscule differences can translate into whole percentages of more fuel consumed.
Pay attention to your driving speed
Truck drivers sometimes fall into the old misconception that faster is always better. Unfortunately, more often than not, slow and steady wins the race. Well, in this case, at least the ‘steady’ part implies. If you maintain an optimal speed of around fifty-five miles per hour, you will stay in the sweet spot of fuel efficiency. Driving faster will increase your fuel consumption by approximately ten to thirty percent. Depending, of course, on how extreme your driving speed gets. Note that driving quickly is also bad for you as a professional in other ways. Full trucks are extremely unsafe when moving at fast speeds. Any carelessness can result in losing control of your vehicle and causing a tragedy. So, it is better to drive at a moderately fast rate, save fuel, and potentially save lives.
Map your route carefully
A part of your efforts to reduce engine idling time and increase fuel efficiency should be focused on planning. When are you forced to leave your engine idling whether you want to or not? During rush hours and traffic congestion, of course. However, as the experts from amplemoving.com point out, careful planning can allow you to dodge all such hotspots and never have to wait in lines for the road to clear. This is made especially easy by modern apps you can access, which warn you of road congestion well before you come across it in person. Of course, to take advantage of such info, you need to know which alternate routes you could take to reach your destination quickly. Even if the road is not as ideal as your original choice, it should still be able to allow you to reach your goal before your deadline.
Avoid revving and sudden breaking
The final way to reduce engine idling and increase fuel efficiency is to avoid revving your engine or slamming your brakes. While trucks are carefully designed machines that can handle such rough treatment, your engine still feels the consequences of it. Revving it will result in significantly increased fuel consumption. And when you slam your brakes, the fuel cut-off switch cannot properly react, which results in wastage of fuel. This frequently happens when drivers follow too closely behind other vehicles on the highway. If anyone decelerates suddenly, you have to quickly step on the brake if you do not want an accident. Of course, the weight and heft of a truck can still cause an accident due to inertia. So, while trying to learn how to be a trucker, go over traffic laws and common courtesies several times. Patience and some space between vehicles will save both lives and fuel.
With the 6 ways to reduce engine idling time and increase fuel efficiency under your belt, you are better equipped to deal with the current situation. Of course, you should not take any of the methods we propose here too far. Even obsessing over routes can do more harm than good! In the end, just like always, moderation and proper application of knowledge are key.
Jerry Broker is an experienced truck driver who has now retired. He spends his days working as a freelance blogger as a way to share his knowledge and experience from his long career.